SAN JUAN -- To help meet the anticipated effects of climate change, a $5-per-head surcharge on all air travelers to the Caribbean region has been proposed by Ulric Trotz, science advisor to the Caricom Climate Change Centre in Belize.

Trotz addressed delegates to the 30th annual Caribbean Tourism Conference here during a session on the effects of global climate change.

The funds would go towards helping adapt island infrastructures meet the anticipated effects of climate change, which may include greater coastal flooding, stronger hurricanes and the deterioration of coral reefs.

"The Caribbean attracts more than 12 million visitors per year," Trotz said. "At $5 per head, this can raise more than $60 million annually which would be put in a fund to assist islands in adaptation."

Other action steps include: buildings designed to withstand Category 4 hurricanes; moving developments further away from coastlines; and incentives for greater energy conservations, such as tax breaks for solar panel usage.

"I would like to suggest that the Caribbean make itself the first carbon neutral destination," Trotz said. "This will be both a unique way of marketing the region and an effective method of branding as the awareness of climate change and its impact increases."

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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